Sep 30, 2007

Some basic facts about Myanmar


I noticed that people who commented on my Youtube video of the death of Kenji Nagai were erroneously stating that Myanmar, formally Burma, didn't have any oil..that's why BushCo or the US in general hasn't done anything to stem the dictatorship there.

Wrong my dear readers...wrong..wrong..very wrong. From AP we get this nice, tidy explanation of things you should know about Myanmar:


A look at the insular military leadership behind the recent crackdown in Myanmar:

WHO THEY ARE

First among equals in the current regime is Senior Gen. Than Shwe. He is said to be superstitious and to consult with astrologers, but otherwise has a public image that is taciturn in the extreme. No. 2 is Deputy Senior Gen. Maung Aye, whose reputation is, if anything, more ruthless than Than Shwe's, probably because he has more field combat experience from fighting ethnic rebels. Soldiers in the 400,000-strong military live secluded from civilian life in isolated barracks; their families are provided with housing as well.

HOW THEY CAME TO POWER

The State Peace and Development Council, as the ruling junta is formally known, replaced another dictatorship in 1988 after suppressing a pro-democracy uprising. The previous regime, led by Ne Win, destroyed what had been one of Southeast Asia's most dynamic economies, restricting tourist visas to one week and refusing all foreign investment.

HOW THEY KEEP POWER

Than Shwe's government has opened up the country to foreign investment. Myanmar is rich in natural resources and has survived by cultivating investment in its potentially vast oil and gas reserves. Neighboring China and India curry favor with the junta because of Myanmar's strategic location on the Indian Ocean and its oil and natural gas resources. China is the regime's main ally, supplying the most diplomatic muscle at international forums.

PREVIOUS RESISTENCE TO THEIR RULE

In 1988, the army violently suppressed mass demonstrations against the military dictatorship, though some members of the air force changed sides and supported the protesters. Monk-led street protests threatened the junta's power again after the government refused to accept the outcome of a 1990 vote, in which Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party won a landslide victory. The regime responded with several months of raids on hundreds of pagodas and the arrests of hundreds of monks.


All emphasis is mine btw..So China likes the way the junta controls the population..thats why the UN will NEVER do anything to help the people of Myanmar..because China will veto ANYTHING that changes the status quo. Bastids..

Tags: , ,

UN Envoy fails to meet with Myanmar dictator

Aung San Suu KyiBut get this..he did meet with the country's leading opposition figure, Aung San Suu Kyi! The idiots running the country actually let her leave the house where she has been under arrest, Suu Kyi has spent 12 of the last 18 years under house arrest. Her party won the last real elections held there..but they were never allowed to assume the reins of the government. The military mutha fuckas wouldn't allow THAT to happen..hell they have a good thing going there don't ya know? From the article linked above:
On Sunday, the number of troops in Yangon, the largest city, swelled to about 20,000 after reinforcements arrived overnight, ensuring that almost all demonstrators would remain off the streets, an Asian diplomat said on condition of anonymity.

"The security forces are demonstrating their strength," he said. "I think the chance of protesters coming to the road and mobilizing enough people to topple the junta is zero."

A few monks were seen in a neighborhood on their customary morning round for alms.

"We are not going to protest any more. Rather we will conduct peaceful protests. We Buddhists believe that dhamma (Buddha's teachings) will finally win over evil," said one monk.

People suspected of leading or organizing this week's rallies continue to be arrested, the Asian diplomat said, estimating the total number could be as high as 1,000, including several prominent members of the NLD. They joined an estimated 1,100 other political detainees who have languished in jails since before the current turmoil began.

With the main prison overcrowded, people are now being detained in university buildings and educational institutes, he said.

Below is the bag of batshit that runs the country. His name is General Than Shwe. Real piece of work that sumbitch.

Thn Shwe

Tags: , , ,

Sep 29, 2007

Villagers keep soldiers at bay with sticks and slingshots..


How many here would take that stand? Who among us would face an armed soldier with only a stick or slingshot? I don't think I would..and I am being honest with myself.

“If we just stood by, not even dogs would survive in Burma under these bastards’ brutality and inhumanity,” the resident continued, pledging that residents were ready to assist the monks whenever their help was needed.


Army troops attempting to raid monasteries in Mandalay and Rangoon last night were forced to withdraw by local residents.

Troops approaching the monasteries backed off after seeing people from the surrounding areas armed with sticks and slingshots preparing to stop them.

In Mandalay, Masoyein (Old and New), Mya Taung, Veitthudayon, Phayagyi and Dhammikarama monasteries were targeted.

Residents had heard rumours of impending raids and made preparations to thwart the security forces' approach.

"We set up an alert system of banging pots and pans when anyone saw soldiers approaching the monastery, and we prepared ourselves with any available weapons to stop these unholy people from harassing the monks," said a Mandalay resident.


The UN stopped by Myanmar today to check it out..and deliver a message from the UN Secretary.

Whoopi fuck, did you stop and visit the monks that have been jailed? Or perhaps the morgue to see how many dead there really are?

Tags: ,

Sep 28, 2007

Video of the shooting death of the journalist in Myanmar

There is video out of Myanmar which captures the shooting of the japanese journalist Kenji Nagai.

The brutality is evident in the video. The callous murder of the the Japanese journalist is mind numbing. They killed him because he was filming the protest..and nothing more. AP has a writeup here. The death toll is probably much higher than the government is letting on. Below is the YouTube version of the video. I just uploaded it to YouTube so when it becomes available it will show here on my site. Democracy Now! has a good interview up with an activist from Burma. Htun Aung Gway, President of the U.S.-based Civil Society for Burma. He is the former president of the All Burma Student Democratic Front that led the protests of 1974 and 1988. He was imprisoned for five years in Burma and came to the United States in 1992 after living in the jungle on the Burmese-Thai border for 4 years. He now lives in Chicago.



Tags: , ,

We must not be silent..


The uprising in Burma is getting worse by the day. People are dying simply because they are speaking out..because they are protesting and trying to let the world know how horrible it is ‘over there’. The Independant has an article up that I felt the need to share. As some know my family is dealing with a death here in our extended family. A death that left more questions than answers. The same goes for the death of this Japanese reporter and the monks who are also risking their lives to get the truth out. His death must be recognized for what it is..a government trying to silence the people, in whatever heinous, brutal fashion they can. We can not be silent..for those that paid with their lives.. we must get the word out.

Shot dead trying to show the real picture of Burma
Images suggest that Japanese video journalist was a victim of Burma’s repressive junta
By Claire Soares Published: 28 September 2007

Dodging the bloodstained sandals and the panic-stricken masses who fled troops near Sule Pagoda in the centre of the Burmese capital Rangoon yesterday, Kenji Nagai kept his camera rolling, recording vital footage of Burma’s closed society and providing a lifeline to the outside world for the protesting monks and civilians who were risking their lives for much-needed change.

Then, in one dreadful moment, the Japanese video journalist took a bullet in the chest – almost certainly from the gun of a Burmese soldier.


We cannot be certain of the exact circumstances in which Mr Nagai died, but a series of pictures appears to suggest he was callously gunned down, a victim of the repressive junta who are almost as keen to quell the worldwide media coverage of the protests as they are to quell the protests themselves.

Burmese state television has been running news bulletins accusing global broadcasters of pumping out a “Skyful of lies”.
It fell to Mr Nagai’s father to identify his son, who was working for the Japanese news agency APF News, from photos and videos taken in the street where he was killed. Japan has lodged a protest with the Burmese authorities. Mr Nagai was one of at least nine people known to have been killed in Rangoon yesterday. There may have been more. It seems unlikely that they will have been the last.

Tags: Kenji Nagai , Burma, Myanmar

Sep 27, 2007

Edwards campaign will accept public funding.

Which means its not going to well on the fund-raising front for him. TheHill has a short writeup on it here a short blurb below:

In a stunning move that was described by one expert as a "Hail Mary" play, John Edwards's campaign said Thursday afternoon that the former North Carolina Democratic senator will accept public matching funds for the 2008 primary season.

A campaign official told The Hill that the campaign would take in about $7 million for the third quarter, which ends at midnight on Sunday. This would bring Edwards to about $30 million for the year, or about $10 million shy of the campaign's $40 million goal to compete in the first four states. All of those totals are well below the record-breaking hauls of Edwards's Democratic rivals, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.). At the end of the second quarter, Edwards had $13.5 million cash on hand. By accepting public funding, the campaign would cap its spending at a sum estimated to be $50 million for the primary.


Tags: ,

Walter Reed is still a clusterf**k.


Paul Reickhoff, of IAVA, has a piece up at HuffPo about the latest reports showing Walter Reed Army Hospital is still a quagmire and our wounded soldiers are still suffering. The 32 page GAO report is here for your viewing. Below a short blurb from Paul's HuffPo writeup;

This latest report joins the increasing chorus of bipartisan commissions, independent review groups, and task forces which all confirm that the DoD and the VA are ill-prepared to meet the needs of returning servicemembers. Among its findings, the GAO concluded that there has been little progress in rectifying staffing shortfalls, facilitating VA/DoD data sharing, and streamlining disability evaluation systems. Processing disability payments still takes an average of 177 days. Furthermore, efforts to improve the care provided to servicemembers with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have also been largely unsuccessful: only 6 of the Army's 32 Warrior Transition Units had completed training for all staff. (You can read the complete report here.)

The bottom line: the problems of Walter Reed have not been fixed. Not even close. More than seven months have passed since the major problems were revealed by the Washington Post-- and after seven months, our veterans continue to wait. While Congress and the President went on vacation this summer, people like my courageous friend Annette McLeod and her wounded husband Wendell were paying the price for our governments negligence. Our nation's heroes and their families deserve better.


The bottom line is that BushCo will leave this disgusting mess for the next president to fix as well. Just like his fucking war...

Tags: , ,

How Limbaugh supports the troops..


Rushie was most likely running his piehole in a drug-induced haze, but this latest rant is probably one of his top 10 worst. Rushie is going after soldiers who have the audacity to NOT support the war. Imagine that..soldiers that do their job but still believe its their right to speak out against this madness. Media Matters is running with this header:

Service members who support U.S. withdrawal are "phony soldiers"

If you have a strong stomach, you can listen to the exchange here. I tried but couldn't get through the entire thing,sorry...but I just couldn't.

tags:


Sep 26, 2007

Edwards beat Hillary in the debate...

He stood his ground..Hillary looked like a Rethug light candidate..

Its my pov after watching the debate..he needed to attack her....and he did it..


"Your take"?

Dan Rather's Magnum Opus

Mr.William Rivers Pitt has graciously allowed me to reprint his piece today at TruthOut.org. They are one of the best sites on the web for progressive news and opinion. They could use some financial help too.

By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Wednesday 26 September 2007

Media is a word that has come to mean bad journalism.- Graham Greene

His face was once a totem, a comforting TV-screen touchstone. His voice and inflection lent suppertime credence to the myth of American permanence, safety and dependability, night after night, for a quarter of a century. It is surpassingly strange, therefore, to encompass Dan Rather's recent and abrupt metamorphosis. The former "CBS Nightly News" anchor, previously a study in constancy and predictability, has suddenly become a genuine threat to the entire mainstream news industry.

Last week, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit (PDF link, Adobe Acrobat required) against CBS, its chief executive Leslie Moonves, former network president Andrew Heyward, CBS's parent company Viacom and Viacom's Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone.

The suit stems from a sensational September 2004 CBS report detailing documentary evidence of George W. Bush's poor performance during and constant absence from service in the Texas Air National Guard during the early 1970s. The report was met with an immediate chorus of scornful dismissals from Bush administration officials, Bush campaign spokespeople and right-wing bloggers that eventually cast doubt upon the authenticity of the documents. Within two weeks, CBS retreated in humiliation from the story. Rather staggered on as the "CBS Nightly News" anchor for a few more excruciating months, but finally departed on March 9, 2005.

Among the assertions in his suit, Rather claims CBS failed to provide him sufficient time and support to defend the veracity of his report, that the network essentially folded like sodden newsprint under pressure from right-wing advocates of the Bush administration, and that the entire matter permanently ravaged his professional reputation. Presumably, CBS finds Rather's public allegations disconcerting to at least some degree; their news section is already burdened by cratering viewership resulting from the Katie Couric fiasco, so the additional burden of this suit can only be another unwelcome complication in an already messy state of affairs.

The danger to the mainstream news industry in general, however, is not in the allegations themselves, but in the context surrounding them provided by a long-time insider who knows where all the bodies are buried.

Consider the first paragraph on the fourth page of the complaint. According to Rather, CBS chose to jettison both himself and the Texas Air National Guard story because, "CBS's parent company, Viacom, and it Chief Executive Officer, Sumner Redstone, considered it to be in its corporate interest to curry favor with the Bush administration."

Consider CBS's handling of a far more serious Bush administration scandal, the torture of Iraqis by American forces at Abu Ghraib prison, as described on pages 11 and 12 of the complaint. According to Rather, "Despite the story's importance, and because of the negative impact the story would have on the Bush administration, with which Viacom and CBS wished to curry favor, CBS management attempted to bury it."

"Even after obtaining nearly a dozen now notorious photographs," continues the complaint, "which made it impossible to deny the accuracy of the story, Mr. Heyward and Ms. West continued to delay the story for an additional three weeks... CBS imposed the unusual restrictions that the story would be aired only once, that it would not be preceded by on-air promotion, and that it would not be referenced on the CBS Evening News."

"What emerges here," writer Greg Sargent concludes on the Talking Points Memo blog, "is a striking portrait of a big news org that, fearful of pressure from conservative critics and eager to curry favor with the Bush administration, allegedly dragged its feet to an extraordinary degree in order to avoid revealing the truths it knew about a horrifying scandal of international dimensions. Sobering stuff."

Sobering indeed, and therein lies the threat. The willful collusion between CBS management and the Bush administration, offered by Rather to frame his accusations, illuminate an insidious, grotesque, and altogether deadly alignment of circumstances hiding in plain sight before the entire American populace. An explanation for why the legitimate fears and anxious uncertainties of the people are never soothed or clarified by mainstream news outlets like CBS, but are instead methodically aggravated and intentionally amplified by those outlets, begins to take shape in light of Rather's inside-view revelations.

Underscored here, in no uncertain terms, are the grim realities of modern American journalism, realities that have little to do with the original conception of the institution. While a number of the Founders were not especially enamored with the printed slings and arrows of the journalists of their day, they were united in the belief that a free and honest press was absolutely necessary to the safety and liberty of the country. "The only security of all," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1823, "is in a free press."

American democracy ceases to function when people blither their votes into ballot boxes on the basis of opinions and ideologies that are swaddled in the beggar-rags of ubiquitous disinformation and bewilderingly muddled cant, but such is now and has long been this nation's common plight. Today's "free press," however, bears little resemblance to the conceived constitutional bulwark cherished by the Founders.

In its place, we now have a tightly-woven confederation of profit-seeking businesses that own virtually every print and broadcast news outlet of significance in the country. There is but scant allegiance to the truth found within these outlets, because their foremost priority when reporting on most issues of national consequence is to protect the interests of those parent companies and their advertisers.

If a parent company is heavily involved in the manufacture and sale of weaponry to the Pentagon, for example, that company's pet news outlet will skew its coverage to cast the most favorable light on a war - and on the politicians and political parties who support it - because that is money in the bank for that parent. There is nothing theoretical in this; NBC, MSNBC and CNBC all championed both the Iraq war and its architects, because they are owned by huge defense contractor General Electric, which has profited enormously from the war.

Media conglomerates like Time-Warner - whose massive holdings include CNN, HBO, Warner Bros., AOL, Time magazine, People magazine, dozens of other periodicals, film production companies, book publishers and television networks - are utterly incapable of providing objective reports to the American people regarding a broad constellation of significant and pressing issues. CNN is inescapably connected to all of Time-Warner's myriad subsidiaries and affiliates, and to the political affiliations, which guarantee the biggest profits for these entities.

Thus, many stories on a variety of serious matters (the crippling side-effects of well-hyped but poorly-tested pills, for example, or the abuse of workers in third-world technological sweatshops, or thousands of dead fish rotting downstream from a coal plant, or the deceptions that led to a failed war and thousands of dead American soldiers) almost never tend to see the light of mainstream-newsroom day. This is not called censorship or suppression or collusion or treason in the offices where such decisions are made. This is called sound business practice.

In their desire to curry favor with the Bush administration, the mainstream news media became willing accomplices to one of the most unspeakable crimes ever committed against the American people: the deliberate and strategic use and manipulation of fear by the Bush administration to increase their own power and influence.

The ordinary common sense and sound judgment of the American people was systematically attacked and debased, the psyche of the entire population was ceaselessly pummeled by a paranoid muddle of murky suspicions and nebulous fears, in order to create a population of permanently frightened and thus easily led dupes. The grisly reports of inhuman acts of torture by Americans, the undermining of the Constitution and our rights, the program of domestic surveillance, all this and so much besides, fell by the wayside because Americans became programmed by the news media to accept the unacceptable, lest they be branded as traitors or killed outright by swarming hordes of al-Qaeda/insurgent/shoe-bombers.

It will be many years before the nation recovers from this despicable onslaught, if indeed it ever does, and the mainstream news industry is exactly as guilty as the Bush administration for perpetrating this unspeakable, harmful offense. Even amid the demonstrably ruinous consequences of their behavior, the prime players of the mainstream news industry still languish like cream-glutted cats before the furnace of history, and still seek to curry favor from the Bush administration.

Nothing could be more dangerous to their conniving complacency than the exposure of their voluntary collusion in the promulgation of mortal lies and lethal hyperbole. Conversely, nothing could be more beneficial to the health and security of America and its citizens than exposing the sham passing itself off as "journalism," exposing what was so deliberately done to them, and exposing the grim truth that almost everything they've heard from their government and their news media has been a rank, rancid, self-serving pile of lies designed to imprison their minds and control their behavior.

Because he willingly participated in this for many years, Dan Rather cannot be considered some sort of saint or martyr. But it was that very participation which informs his lawsuit, and because he is now divulging what he came to know through his complicity, Rather is a true menace as far as the mainstream news industry is concerned. This is his final broadcast of sorts, his magnum opus in 32 pages, a parting jolt of desperately needed journalism, one last story filed to report the truth about what journalism has become.

tags: , , ,

Sep 25, 2007

Von Spakovsky must not be confirmed..

As I wrote Monday, this guy is a bag of batshit and must not be confirmed. As this Slate article reminds us..it's another of Bush's 'fox guarding the henhouse' scenarios. Von baby was another of Bush's recess appointments. Isn't that always the damn case? Of course it is..he does it because he knows the guy doesn't have a snowballs chance in hell of being confirmed or he just wants his way and no damn lip about it..

With the Democrats giving the Decider just about everything he asks for..it makes me wonder what Bush is afraid of? Seriously..the Dem's are his biggest allies lately..toss our rights under the bus in the Protect America Act bullshit..and giving the Jackass-in-Chief all the money he wants to run his miserable war. From the Slate article we get an idea of how dangerous this freak is:

Von Spakovsky currently sits on the FEC as a result of a recess appointment made by President Bush in January of 2006. Before that he served as counsel to the assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division at Justice. Von Spakovsky's Senate confirmation hearing last June was noteworthy for many oddities, not the least of which was a letter sent to the rules committee by six former career professionals in the voting rights section of the Justice Department; folks who had worked under both Republican and Democratic administrations for a period that spanned 36 years. The letter urged the committee to reject von Spakovsky on the grounds that while at DoJ, he was one of the architects of a transformation in the voting rights section from its "historic mission to enforce the nation's civil rights laws without regard to politics, to pursuing an agenda which placed the highest priority on the partisan political goals of the political appointees who supervised the Section." The authors named him as the "point person for undermining the Civil Rights Division's mandate to protect voting rights."

Among his numerous accomplishments at the Voting Section at DoJ, von Spakovsky can take credit for approving the Tom DeLay-sponsored midcensus redistricting in Texas—part of which was later deemed by the Supreme Court to have violated the Voting Rights Act. (To do so, von Spakovsky overrode a 73-page memo written by seven voting-rights experts finding that the DeLay scheme violated the Voting Rights Act by reducing minority voting strength in Texas.) Von Spakovsky similarly pushed for approval of Georgia's restrictive voter-ID law, again over the four-to-one objection of staff lawyers who (in a 51-page memo this time) felt the new law would disenfranchise black voters. State and federal courts later found that statute unconstitutional.

So, if your of like mind..you surely don't want this jerkwad to run anything else in our federal government right? Call your reps and tell them to vote against confirming this piece of bat guano...its the least you can do to Protect America from the likes of more reactionary, evil and downright fucked up Rethuglicans.

Tags:

Losing a loved one..


It's probably one of the most horrible things to deal with in a lifetime. To lose that loved one to suicide is the worst. My son lost his closest friend in that fashion Sunday evening. He hung himself and left no note. My son Brian has never had to deal with this type of death and its breaking my heart to watch him suffer through it. Chris left a young wife and four very small children. Chris was also bi-polar. I was always proud of my son and how he dealt with Chris's mental illness. He was patient, helpful and never lost his affection for Chris, even when Chris would go into a deep depression that lasted for a month or more.

My son is taking this so very hard, he spent most of yesterday here at my house where he finally broke down and cried..huge sobbing cries that tore me apart. What do you say to someone that is suffering so horribly? It was hard to find words that didn't sound cliche. My son isn't one that makes friends easily, he doesn't suffer fools well..takes after his mom in that respect. So this loss leaves him without a close friend to hunt and fish with..to talk shit with late into the night. Brian was considered part of their family, he loves their children and his patience with them is amazing to me considering how little patience he has with children in general.

My son is usually a very self-absorbed 27 year old, but obviously his love and affection for Chris and his family transcended the usual 'me' bullshit.

We hugged and we cried together, Brian and I. He cried for the loss of his friend, I cried for the pain my son was enduring. I tried to tell him about how Chris is in a better place now..his demons that plagued him his entire adult life are finally gone. then Brian brought up how Medicare had cut off his medications last month. I didn't know that had happened. It seems to have been a yearly thing with those fuckers, changing his meds or just cutting him off all together and making him go through the process of reapplying each time. Chris was a severe bi-polar, he wasn't faking it, he wasn't trying to get something for nothing..he was a very sick 32 year old man who tried to cope with his illness as best he could within the limitations of our federal governments rules and regulations.

His wife is a wonderful woman who never wavered in her love for Chris. She was like a lioness, fighting for his rights to get assistance with the incredibly high costs of all those prescriptions that kept him functioning as a 'normal' adult. She lost her first husband in a occupational accident when she was in her mid-20s, and now this. I know the Medicare system didn't put the noose around Chris' neck..but they sure as hell didn't go out of their way to help him maintain his tenuous grip on sanity either. Bi-polar's medications need to be carefully regulated so they receive the correct amount for their weight and metabolsim that will provide the most relief from the horrible symptoms of the illness. Too much or not enough can spell disaster for them.

And so another disaster happened..and it affects me and MY loved one. So, thank you Medicare, for showing me how fucked up you are and how it can be a life and death matter when bureaucracy supercedes compassion for our fellow men and women who's only goal is to live as normal a life as humanly possible.

Artwork: Angel of Death by Elihu Vedder

Sep 24, 2007

Action Item: Von Spakovsky is a tool..


From ActForChange:

If there was one official in the Department of Justice who did more than Alberto Gonzales to inject partisan politics into the supposedly impartial administration of our nation's laws, it was Hans von Spakovsky. He overruled the rest of his department in approving a Texas redistricting plan revised by Tom Delay as well as a restrictive voter ID law in Georgia. He also instigated unnecessary purges of the voter rolls designed to benefit Republican candidates, and openly used partisan criteria in deciding who should get promotions at DOJ.

Now, President Bush wants him to take a permanent seat on the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) -- the body that oversees our nation's laws on financing of federal elections. But one of your Senators sits on the Rules Committee that will vote on von Spakovsky's nomination this Wednesday -- so send a message today that the Senate should reject this nomination immediately.

Von Spakovsky's tenure at the Department of Justice was so bad that six former career professionals at DOJ have written a letter to Senate leaders opposing his nomination to the FEC. Just a few of their reasons for opposing von Spakovsky include:

* He played a major role in injecting partisan politics into the decision-making process on law enforcement actions, as well as hiring and promotion practices at DOJ.
* He demanded that supervisors alter performance evaluations for individuals with whom he did not agree.
* He refused to recuse himself from the Georgia voter ID issue even though he was well known to be biased in favor of the Georgia proponents of the measure.
* He tried to impede the enforcement of the Help America Vote Act by recommending that voters be kept off the rolls for typographical errors or other mistakes made by election officials.
* He drafted legal briefs supporting Republicans concerning elections in Ohio, Michigan, and Florida just before the 2004 election -- in violation of the policy that the Civil Rights Division should not inject itself into politics on the eve of an election.

The administration of justice should always be nonpartisan -- especially when it concerns the most fundamental right of our democracy, the right to vote. Tell your Senators to reject Hans von Spakovsky and compel the President to nominate a more suitable and ethical candidate for the position of Federal Elections Commissioner.

Click HERE to send letters to your representatives.

Tags: ,

He might be an anti-war activist, but he's also a money-grubbing sob


The phrase "Bush Lied" was superimposed over the names. As the casualty count grew, the bumper sticker became a T-shirt, and Frazier added the words "They Died."

It is a pain to be able to see both sides of this argument. The LAT has a writeup about it, and I was perusing their email edition newspaper this morning when I came across the story. Dan Frazier is making money off the names of dead soldiers. First off, that bothers me the most…its not like Mr. Frazier is running a non-profit agency, he is making and selling his T-shirts to MAKE money. He rationalizes it by saying he is doing this to end the war..wrong dude..your doing it to line your pockets. If you were doing it to end the war..ALL the proceeds would go to an Anti-war group or groups.

A mother of one of the dead soldiers, Margy Bons is also against the war. She tried to keep her son from enlisting but to no avail. He actually sought out a battalion that was shipping out to Iraq when he enlisted. He really wanted to go and sadly he did..and he was killed. Margy Bons is still very anti-war..but she is angry that Mr. Frazier uses her dead sons name to make money and knowing as she does, her sons feelings were still going strong supporting the war when he died, she thinks its a travesty that Mr. Frazier continues to use the names of dead soldiers even after the parents or relatives have asked him to cease and desist.

I consider Mr. Frazier a vulture and opportunist. I can not support an endeavor that makes money off dead people in this fashion. Mr. Frazier likes to call it 'defending his right to free speech'. Thats all well and good, but buddy..

Your not giving away those T-shirts are you? They aren't free by any stretch of the imagination. The money isn't even going towards any anti-war efforts in any appreciable amount. He could offer them at cost and then I might be able to support him..but I am not even sure that would do it for me. The money is going to support Mr. Fraziers lifestyle.

And that's where I get mad.

There is an old saying..the Dead can't sue. Perhaps Mr. Frazier is banking on that assumption. But there are states that have taken notice of Mr. Frazier's activities and passed laws against it. Five states — Arizona, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida — have since passed laws requiring permission from members of the military or their next of kin before their names can be used commercially. A version of the law has been introduced in each chamber of Congress.

I also see Mr. Fraziers pov vaguely..that he wishes to end the war is a noble idea millions of us have. He says he gives $1 for every shirt sold to a group that supports the families of dead soldiers. But the shirts sell for $22 a piece. That is a tiny percentage that is going back into the community. He advertises on leftwing sites which of course costs money. He is paying his rent with the money he makes from the sale of his T-shirts. I think its called blood money.

In the end..he is simply making money off the dead..and I just don't think that's right..regardless of the cause or the reason. No matter what rationale Mr. Frazier uses, its wrong to me if the relatives of these dead soldiers want their names removed, Mr. Frazier should comply. Here is what he says about the matter:

"I'm not losing any sleep over the fact that I'm trying to make a living while doing good,"

Sep 23, 2007

Iraqi's have video of Blackwater incident.

No one has seen the video yet..From CNN:

Iraqi investigators have a videotape that shows Blackwater USA guards opened fire against civilians without provocation in an incident last week in which 11 people died, a senior Iraqi official said Saturday. He said the case had been referred to the Iraqi judiciary.

Family visits Hassan Jabir at a Baghdad, Iraq, hospital Saturday. He says guards in a U.S. convoy shot him.

Iraq's president, meanwhile, demanded that the Americans release an Iranian arrested this week on suspicion of smuggling weapons to Shiite militias. The demand adds new strains to U.S.-Iraqi relations only days before a meeting between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf, an Interior Ministry spokesman, said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into Thursday's shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths.

He told The Associated Press that the conclusion was based on witness statements as well as videotape shot by cameras at the nearby headquarters of the national police command. He said eight people were killed at the scene and three of the 15 wounded died in hospitals.

Watch survivors describe the incident here. The NYT has a decent writeup here about the incident and the Iraqi's statements about it. It also talks about other incidents where Blackwater is suspected of shooting first and covering their asses later:

According to General Khalaf, the other events under investigation are a Feb. 4 shooting that killed an Iraqi journalist near the Foreign Ministry; a Feb. 7 shooting in which three guards at the Iraqi state television station were killed; a Feb. 14 episode in which Blackwater employees are accused of smashing windshields; a shooting in May that killed one person near the Interior Ministry; a Sept. 9 shooting that killed five people near a Baghdad city government building; and a Sept. 12 shooting that wounded five people in eastern Baghdad.

Tags: ,

Sep 22, 2007

Blackwater being investigated by the Feds for selling weapons to insurgents.


Lordy..the irony is thick on this story. From AP:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Federal prosecutors are investigating whether employees of the private security firm Blackwater USA illegally smuggled into Iraq weapons that may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, officials said Friday. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Raleigh, N.C., is handling the investigation with help from Pentagon and State Department auditors, who have concluded there is enough evidence to file charges, the officials told The Associated Press. Blackwater is based in Moyock, N.C.


Isn't that friggin special? These Blackwater employees make twice as much as our soldiers..and they are possibly doing what??? Wait..it gets better:

In Saturday's editions, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported that two former Blackwater employees - Kenneth Wayne Cashwell of Virginia Beach, Va., and William Ellsworth "Max" Grumiaux of Clemmons, N.C. - are cooperating with federal investigators. Cashwell and Grumiaux pleaded guilty in early 2007 to possession of stolen firearms that had been shipped in interstate or foreign commerce, and aided and abetted another in doing so, according to court papers viewed by The Associated Press. In their plea agreements, which call for a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, the men agreed to testify in any future proceedings.


The Feds have a couple of canaries!!!! This should get interesting no? Hope those two birds sing their butts off..I really do. Nothing would make me happier than to see Blackwater USA go down the tubes for something like this.

In the United States, officials in Washington said the smuggling investigation grew from internal Pentagon and State Department inquiries into U.S. weapons that had gone missing in Iraq. It gained steam after Turkish authorities protested to the U.S. in July that they had seized American arms from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, rebels. The Turks provided serial numbers of the weapons to U.S. investigators, said a Turkish official. The Pentagon said in late July it was looking into the Turkish complaints and a U.S. official said FBI agents had traveled to Turkey in recent months to look into cases of missing U.S. weapons in Iraq. Investigators are determining whether the alleged Blackwater weapons match those taken from the PKK.

Stay tuned..

Tags: ,

Sep 21, 2007

Carlos Arrendondo beaten by Gathering of Eagles freaks at DC march


I have met Mr. Arredondo. I talked to him for quite a while at the DFA convention in San Diego last year. He is a quiet man, a huge sadness can be felt surrounding him when he talks about the death of his son the marine. That anyone would attack this man is unconscionable.For pictures of the beat-down, check Roberts blog here. From TomPaine.com's Rick Perlstein:

The pro-war fascists of Gathering of Eagles found a father of fallen Marine to beat up along the route: Carlos Arredondo, who marches in anti-war demonstrations pulling a flag-draped coffin adorned with a picture of his son. Here's one account:

As Carlos passed counter protesters, one man ripped a picture of Alex from the memorial. Carlos leaped on the man to retrieve the picture. It was at that point that approximately five others all began to attack Carlos by kicking him in the head, legs, stomach and back. The Capitol police bicycle patrol then appeared to break up the fight. Several officers including a female officer were engaged in breaking up the fight and were able to stop any further injuries from occurring. Hannah Jones who was walking with Carlos was also assaulted. A bystander named Ramesh witnessed the whole encounter and also retrieved the picture of Alex for Carlos. He was quite distressed at how he watched the men follow Carlos as he pulled the memorial, purposefully yelling epiphets and eventually taking Alex's photograph. Soon, an ambulance showed up as well as many concerned activists. The paramedics provided first aid to Carlos but he did not seek further medical attention. Carlos sustained bloody cuts on his shins. He also reported bruises all over his torso and head where he was kicked.


And here's what one of the perpetrators has to say about it. He clearly believes himself a hero: the fallen Marine, after all, was "being held hostage in company not of his own choosing." Well, yes, none of us get to choose our own parents. But these parents "immediately and obviously intended" to "disrespect his Corps," and had to be wailed upon. Their son would have only wanted it that way:

My teams broke up at the Capitol, mission accomplished, and I was walking alone back to the Mall when I saw the photo-image of a proud young Marine in dress blues being held hostage in company not of his own choosing and affixed to a coffin not his own. The insult to his honor and disrespect to his Corps and cause by his captors was immediately obvious and intended. These same peddlers of provocation are paid to push their coffin-prop all over the country they revile. They subvert a common will and undermine the cause and country for which this hostage-Marine had sacrificed his very life. The captive Marine was not among his own. He was surrounded and outnumbered by those who shamelessly exploit his image and memory, disgrace his uniform, his brothers in arms, and his willing sacrifice. He would never choose such company. He needed a rescue…

"He needed a rescue." This remarkable discourse reminds me of the Terry Schiavo case, one of the signal conservative failures of our era, and a crucial window into the deep psychology of the far-right. The lesson is: no family attachment matters when it falls afoul of the cleansing perfections of right-wing ideology. In the Schiavo case wingnut ideology provided a weird psychological defense against the disappointments of our children who fly away and disappoint us; recall that it turned upon an argument that it was really the parents who get to decide everything about their adult children, not the spouses who steal our children away from us. In this case the Freudian issue is rage at the parent. We see a damaged soul beating up someone else's father for "disrespecting the Corps": sorry you never got a chance to wail on your own dad for doing you wrong, dude, but it must be fun to get to do it symbolically, and with such self-exculpatory glee to boot.

How I tire of conservatives working out their psychopathologies in the public square.

How I tire of these smarmy bastards refusing to allow us our right to dissent. They can't handle the truth..which would explain why they try to silence it constantly. Sick fucks.

Tags: , ,

A Symptom of the Disease

Jena, population roughly 3000, isn’t a new phenomenon. It’s historically accurate for the Deep South to exhibit this type of racism; after all, they have been doing it for over 200 years. 12% of the population, or 310 individuals are African American in Jena. Jena is also the site of the infamous Juvenile Correctional Center for Youth that was forced to close its doors in 2000, only two years after opening, due to widespread brutality and racism including the choking of juveniles by guards after the youth met with a lawyer. The U.S. Department of Justice sued the private prison amid complaints that guards paid inmates to fight each other and laughed when teens tried to commit suicide.

What bothers me is the state and federal court systems above the local level will be reviewing all these cases if the Jena D.A. doesn’t get his head out of his ass and reduce the charges and move on. George Bush has stacked the living bejesus out of the federal courts. But the southern ‘gentleman’ that occupies the D.A. office in Jena, Reed Walters, is nothing if not stubborn. He told the black students--I can change your life with the stroke of my pen.

The whole lot of ‘em are uppidity white men. A patriarchy don’t you know? Should we be shocked that an entire city, regardless of size, still practices racism?

No, but we should be outraged. We need to look them straight in the eye and tell them they are horrible people..the court system has to do that as well. We can not change the hearts and minds of those stalwart practitioners of racism..but we can stand in their streets and call them what they are; racist bastards. After all was said and done, a white resident of Jena was quoted as saying to the press;

"We don't have many problems with our blacks."

That this story was publicized in Europe before our own traditional media addressed it is another rub. The European press jumped on this issue 9 months before the U.S. media did.

Yesterday, America gave the white residents of Jena something to think about. Thousands of American’s of all colors descended upon Jena to tell them to their faces what a bunch of racists they are, and that it’s no longer acceptable to judge people by the color of their skin. It’s also not acceptable to load the prisons with individuals of color. That sadly, is another symptom of the disease my dear reader. From a Nation.com article on the Jena 6:

"There are several issues in this case," says Bob Noel, one of five attorneys who signed on as Bell's new counsel after the trial. "One of the biggest is disproportionate treatment. People may think of a similarly situated kid, maybe middle-class, maybe white, and they think, Oh, let's give him another chance. When he's poor and black, it's not necessarily the case. Another is funding for indigent defense: If there's no money to adequately pay lawyers, to have support staff for them and resources they can use, they're always at a major disadvantage. And the other is the issue of race in America." “Throughout the summer, as the media glare intensified and a muscular team of attorneys assembled on the side of the defendants, Judge J.P. Mauffray and Walters dug in their heels. James Rucker, who sat in on some of Bell's motion hearings during the appeal, was shocked to see the LaSalle Parish brand of justice at work. "You'd watch this judge grill the defense attorney. It felt like he was trying to trick him," Rucker says. "And then he would set up the DA, so that all he had to do was say yes to a question. It was like they were a team."

The sunlight of truth must stay bright in Jena and all other places in our country where brown and black people are trampled on because of the color of their skin. We must force the judicial appeals system to do the job the local DA refused to do, that of fairness and the rule of law imposed equally. Because if we don’t, lead counsel Louis Scott’s word’s might horribly ring true as he recalls the Little Rock 9:

"Immediately after the facts were explained, I can remember thinking, Wow, this is a 1957 case that jumped into 2007," he says. "This is my second reaction, that the tree symbolized America. And the question was, Can all Americans share the shade of the system that we operate under? But the next thing that happened was the most frightening thing of all: They cut the tree down. I was hoping that didn't symbolize the attitude of America, that before we allow some Americans to share the same rights, the same privileges and the same responsibilities, we'll just get rid of the whole thing. It seemed to me that that was the message to be conveyed." If Americans allowed this to occur, Scott believes, "that would be the first step toward unraveling the civil rights gains of the last fifty years."

District Attorney Reed Walters is a bigot and Judge J.P. Mauffray is one as well..or at the very least he enables Walters to practice his bigotry in a court of law. We need to address the disparity of blacks and browns in prisons here in the U.S. To use numbers from a DoJ report in 2003;

About 10.4% of the entire African-American male population in the United States aged 25 to 29 was incarcerated, by far the largest racial or ethnic group—by comparison, 2.4% of Hispanic men and 1.2% of white men in that same age group were incarcerated. According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute in 2002, the number of black men in prison has grown to five times the rate it was twenty years ago. Today, more African-American men are in jail than in college. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college. In 1980, there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college.

We must keep up the pressure for justice in these cases by keeping these issues at the forefront. We can’t afford not to. The disease of racism must be wiped out if we are to succeed as a nation.

Crossposted at Bring it On!, The PeaceTrain and Sirens Chronicles

Tags: ,

Sep 20, 2007

To those 22 Democrats I say...


Kiss my rotund ass you bag of batshit bastards. I suppose you didn't have a problem with the swiftboaters going after Kerry?? That one got a pass? How about when they went after Vietnam Vet Max Cleland? That one ok too you fools?

So..A hearty "Fuck you" the stupid 22 Dems who voted against the MoveOn ad regarding Petraeus the lapdog. Clinton and Dodd voted no on that bullshit and frankly I have more respect for them now than at any time prior to this ridiculous vote on the Senate floor today to condemn a paid for ad by a third party group.

All is fair in love and politics..so if the swiftboaters can use their smarmy tactics...no one has a right to bitch about the MoveOn ad..period. You bunch of spineless pricks. Here is the list of who voted:

Democrats Voting to Condemn MoveOn.org

Baucus (D-MT), Bayh (D-IN), Cardin (D-MD), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Dorgan (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Johnson (D-SD), Klobuchar (D-MN), Kohl (D-WI), Landrieu (D-LA), Leahy (D-VT), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Salazar (D-CO), Tester (D-MT), Webb (D-VA)

Demsocrats Who Voted 'No'

Akaka (D-HI) Bingaman (D-NM), Boxer (D-CA), Brown (D-OH), Byrd (D-WV), Clinton (D-NY), Dodd (D-CT), Durbin (D-IL), Feingold (D-WI), Harkin (D-IA), Inouye (D-HI), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Levin (D-MI), Menendez (D-NJ), Murray (D-WA), Reed (D-RI), Reid (D-NV), Rockefeller (D-WV), Sanders (I-VT), Schumer (D-NY), Stabenow (D-MI), Whitehouse (D-RI), Wyden (D-OR)

Democrats Not Voting

Biden (D-DE), Cantwell (D-WA), Obama (D-IL)

Tags: ,

Thousands descend on Jena, Bell must have a bond hearing within 72 hours.


A town of 3000 people is currently hosting thousands of protestors. The count varies but at least 10,000 people are believed to be marching through Jena, LA today. A 3rd Circuit Court Judge has just announced that a bail bond hearing MUST be held for Mychal Bell within the next 72 hours. The web is rife with stories of todays march in mostly-white Jena. From an ABC news article:

Thousands of protesters have descended on the small town of Jena, La., for a large-scale rally in support of six black students charged in the beating of a white classmate. They are outraged at what they say is an excessive prosecution of the teens. The district attorney initially had tried to prosecute the students on attempted murder charges. Martin Luther King III, son of the slain civil rights leader, was there and said the scene was reminiscent of civil rights struggles of the 1960s.


MSNBC is showing Jena live all day today. Its great, its fabulous and its righteous indeed! Finally the MSM is paying attention!

Tags: ,

Zogby Poll: President sucks..congress sucks worse



The whole damn bunch of them suck is the basic premise of the newest Zogby poll. Both branches of the Federal Government received record low ratings..is anyone surprised?

Not moi my dear reader. Take a gander at what the Zogby poll has to say:

Only 29 percent of Americans gave Bush a positive grade for his job performance, below his worst Zogby poll mark of 30 percent in March. A paltry 11 percent rated Congress positively, beating the previous low of 14 percent in July. The Reuters/Zogby Index, a new measure of the mood of the country, dropped from 100 to 98.8 in the last month on worries about the economy and fears of a recession, pollster John Zogby said. "Since the last time we polled we have had the mortgage crisis, and we are hearing the recession word a whole lot more than we've heard it in the past," Zogby said.


Its a pretty pathetic bunch of worthless Asshats up there on Capitol Hill ain't it? For Congress to receive such a rating screams volumes about how worthless and spineless they are for me. The President of course could give a rat's ass about his rating..its been in the toilet for years now.

Now, Zogby also does something called an "Index". It addresses how American's feel about the country and their lives in general. This monthly index rises and dips, no surprize there..but this month...well, its not good my dear reader. From the Zogby writeup in the same link as above:

The Index, which debuts this month, combines responses to 10 questions on Americans' views about their leaders, the direction of their country and their personal situations. Polling for the Index began in July, and that month's results provide the benchmark score of 100. A score above 100 indicates the country's mood has improved since July. A score below 100, like the one recorded in September, shows the nation's mood getting worse. The RZI, which will be released the third Wednesday of each month, had remained at 100 in August. "The public mood is not just dark. What's darker than dark?" Zogby said. "The mood is getting ugly." The national survey of 1,011 likely voters, taken September 13 through September 16, found barely one-quarter of Americans, or 27 percent, believe the country is headed in the right direction. Nearly 62 percent think the country is on the wrong track.


Congress can't get 60 votes to restore Habeas Corpus or give the soldiers more time to mend from the horrors of war..but 60+% of Americans don't have a problem registering their complaints and fears about a worsening economy or that we as a nation are on the wrong friggin track.

Tags: , , ,

Sep 19, 2007

Senate blocks bill on Soldiers deployment time limits

This is so fucked up. I mean, really..the asshat in chief said he would veto it, so why the hell didn't everyone who wants them home VOTE for the damn thing? They had nothing to friggin lose..From WaPo:

The Senate today turned back a measure to require that U.S. troops be given at least as much time at home as they spend on combat tours, shelving an amendment that supporters said was aimed at easing the strain of prolonged military deployments but that opponents argued was intended to undercut the Bush administration's Iraq war policy.

The amendment to a defense programs bill, sponsored by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.) and Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), went down when it failed to receive the 60 votes needed for passage. The vote was 56 to 44. A similar measure offered by Webb in July also fell four votes short of the 60-vote threshold.


My heart breaks when I see this kind of shit..and my blood pressure goes through the roof. FOUR FUCKING VOTES SHORT. This is a travesty. Keep sending him the same damn bill..keep putting it up there..be as stubborn as the Asshat-in-Chief you nimrods.

Tags: ,

Sep 18, 2007

Quarterly report from Army contradicts Petraeus?

Petraeus thinks its all coming around..yet the Army's own quarterly report says otherwise. From WaPo:

Security is deteriorating in southern Iraq as rival Shiite militias vying for power have stepped up their attacks after moving out of Baghdad to avoid U.S.-led military operations, according to the latest quarterly Pentagon report on Iraq released yesterday.

"The security environment in southern Iraq took a notable turn for the worse in August" with the assassination of two governors, said the report, which covers June through August. "There may be retaliation and an increase in intra-Shi'a violence throughout the South," it said, whereas previously the violence was centered in the main southern city of Basra.


The US military is merely moving these guys around the countryside my dear reader. But keep spinning that bs General Betray Us..your doing a great job! It's the same bunch of terrorists, just a different part of the country...duh. A traveling show.

Tags: ,

The Republican candidates don't like Black People?


How else do you explain that so far Thompson, Romney, Giuliani and McCain have refused to take part in a Presidential debate at the PBS-sponsored event being held at what once was a black college? They are using the time-honored excuse of...cough..a scheduling conflict.

I guess they think they can win it all without the votes from Black folks. I think thats pretty stupid and quite reckless.

But the Rethugs are about nothing if not elite snobs my dear reader, and this inaction by the four candidates screams elitism loud and clear. From the HuffPo writeup:

"There is a pattern here," Smiley told the Huffington Post. "When you tell every black and brown request that you get throughout the primary process that 'no, there's a scheduling problem.' That's a pattern... Are we really supposed to believe that all four of these guys couldn't make it because of scheduling?"


A pattern is right Mr. Smiley...they don't give a shit about people of color..or their votes, they never have and they never will. I hope this really bites them in the ass hard on election day....

Tags: , , ,

Sep 17, 2007

Iraq tells Blackwater to get out of town

I have no love for Blackwater and their owners, a group of rightwing Theocratic assholes. From RawStory we get this:


Iraq ordered the cancellation on Monday of the operating licence of US security firm Blackwater after it was involved in a shootout in Baghdad that killed eight people, a senior official told AFP.

Blackwater offers personal security to US civilian officials working in Iraq.

"The interior minister (Jawad al-Bolani) has issued an order to cancel Blackwater's licence and the company is prohibited from operating anywhere in Iraq," interior ministry director of operations Major General Abdel Karim Khalaf said.

"We have opened a criminal investigation against the group who committed the crime."

On Sunday, a US diplomatic convoy was involved in a shootout in Baghdad's Al-Yarmukh neighbourhood which killed at least eight people and wounded 13.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki condemned what he called the "criminal" response of the contractors guarding the convoy which the US embassy said had come under attack from insurgents.

Blackwater representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Embassy spokeswoman Mirembe Nantongo said she was unable to confirm the cancellation of Blackwater's licence.


Hope they are tossed out...BushCo would be shatting all over itself if the over 100,000 Blackwater employees were suddenly unemployed.

Crossposted at Bring it On!

Tags: ,

Sep 16, 2007

Mukasey's role in the Padilla case..

Everyone is reporting tonight that King George will nominate a non-neocon Jurist for the next Attorney General Monday morning. Lets review one of the most important cases he sat on in the recent past, that of..Jose Padilla..and see how he comes through it. One of the mentions I have frequently read about Mukasey this evening is that he is a specialist in national security cases, and he believes in the 'rule of law'..From Glen Greenwald's Salon.com column:

Judge Mukasey repeatedly defied the demands of the Bush administration, ruled against them, excoriated them on multiple occasions for failing to comply with his legally issued orders, and ruled that Padilla was entitled to contest the factual claims of the government and to have access to lawyers. He issued these rulings in 2002 and 2003, when virtually nobody was defying the Bush administration on anything, let alone on assertions of executive power to combat the Terrorists. And he made these rulings in the face of what was became the standard Bush claim that unless there was complete acquiescence to all claimed powers by the President, a Terrorist attack would occur and the blood would be on the hands of those who impeded the President.


In demanding that Padilla be denied access to lawyers, the Bush administration argued that access to counsel would destroy its ability to interrogate Padilla, and that "enemy combatants" had no such rights. Mukasey emphatically rejected both contentions, concluding in his first decision (.pdf) in December, 2002:

Even giving substantial weight, as I do, to the President's statement in the June 9 Order that Padilla is "a continuing, present and grave danger to the national security of the United States" and that his detention "is necessary to prevent him from siding with al Qaeda in its efforts to attack the United States," there has been no fact presented to me that shows that the source of that danger is the possibility that Padilla will transmit information to others through his lawyers. By contrast, Padilla's statutorily granted right to present facts to the court in connection with this petition will be destroyed utterly if he is not allowed to consult with counsel. On the facts presented in this case, the balance weighs heavily in Padilla's favor.


The rule of law is a very powerful thing..even with an Asshat like Bush in the Oval office. Mukasey is a conservative, no doubting that..but will he be beholden to BushCo when he comes nose to nose with him over an issue that Alberto Gonzales would of undeniably given in to his BFF Bush about? Mukasey thinks all the 'hullabaloo' about the Patriot Act is for the most part..nonsense..We shall see my dear reader..we shall see.

Greenwald's article is a good one..I suggest you take a few moments and read it if you want to know about the 'new' AG that King George is going to nominate according to several wire services this Sunday evening.

Tags: , ,

Bush picks his new AG

Bush has picked his next AG..Per Politico The Asshat-in-Chief has selected: It's nearly official: President Bush is preparing to name Michael B. Mukasey, a former judge who was nominated to the federal bench by Ronald Reagan, to replace Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Republicans close to the process told Politico.

"It came down to confirmability," said a former Justice Department official involved in the conversations.

Isn't that something..he didn't want a pissing contest

Conservatives had been rooting for former Solicitor General Theodore B. (Ted) Olson, but Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed Wednesday to block his confirmation. Well well, it seems Harry rented a set of nads over at Nads R Us..amazing no?

Mukasey, 66, was Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan, until he went into private practice last year.

So a Texan who has long been part of the president's orbit is to be replaced by a New Yorker who is little-known to Washington conservatives. This has to be a good thing..doesn't it? We can hope..

Some New Joe Bonamassa for ya'all..


Tags: ,

Sep 15, 2007

Thousands protest in DC, 200 arrested.



Saturday was the latest March on DC, which ended at the Capitol with a Vietnam era strategy called a "Die In". From WaPo:

Protesters and counter-protesters started to gather by 8:30 a.m. for the first major anti-war protest in Washington since January, which is expected to be followed by a week of civil disobedience in the area intended to shift the anti-war movement to a more confrontational phase.

The event today is organized by the ANSWER Coalition, which stands for Act Now to Stop War and End Racism. It formally began at noon at Lafayette Park, on the north side of the White House, with speeches from at least two dozen speakers ranging from former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and Ralph Nader to Washington Wizards player Etan Thomas and Michael Berg, whose son Nicolas was a contractor killed in Iraq.

"The majority of the people in this country and in Iraq are working people, and working people want this war to end,'' Fred Mason, president of the Maryland and District AFL-CIO, told the crowd amid chants of "Money for jobs and education, not for war and occupation."


The march symbolizes plenty to those of us against this unlawful war. That ANSWER plans to do something every day this week is important. That they plan a new phase of protesting which includes being arrested shows their commitment to the cause. AP has a writeup here and ABC has one here. The NYT even has coverage here.

Now, some Richard Thompson-Dad's gonna kill me..his ode to the soldiers in Baghdad


Tags: ,
,

Sep 14, 2007

Factcheck.org really rips Bush a new one..


Artwork by the Worried Shrimp

The linkage is here. Some highlights:

Lowering Expectations The president modified his own measurements for political progress, citing Iraqi actions in his speech last night that he didn't think were good enough a month ago. Bush: Yet Iraq's national leaders are getting some things done. For example, they have passed a budget. They are sharing oil revenues with the provinces. They are allowing former Ba'athists to rejoin Iraq's military or receive government pensions.

But Bush very recently used a different standard for measuring progress. In his
Aug. 18 radio speech, he cited the passage of laws governing the sharing of oil revenues among Iraq’s provinces and de-Baathification as steps the Iraqi government needed to take in order to show progress. They are both among the benchmarks the U.S. set to measure success Forward March? Bush and others have always said that Iraqi security forces must get up to speed so coalition forces can hand things over to them. There has been progress. But Bush failed to note just how far these forces still have to go. Bush: According to General Petraeus and a panel chaired by retired General Jim Jones, the Iraqi army is becoming more capable, although there is still a great deal of work to be done to improve the national police. The Independent Commission on the Security of Iraq, led by retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, did say in its report dated Sept. 6 that the Iraqi Army is improving. But the Iraqi Security Forces, of which the Army is a major part, "will not be able to progress enough in the near term to secure Iraqi borders against conventional military and external threats," the report said. And further: Commission Report: The Iraqi Minister of Defense seemed to recognize both the progress the Iraqi Army has made and the remaining challenges when he predicted to Commissioners that the Army would be 60 percent capable of independently protecting Iraq from external threats by 2012 and entirely independent in this regard by 2018.

Ain't that some amazing facts? I think its bullshittery at its finest my dear reader. There are plenty more at the first Factcheck link.

Tags: , ,


Today's Photo..er..Graphic..ok, Picture.

It's moving day!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have purchased a domain name. I have been meticulously working on a new site,Leftwing Nutjob. Please change your bookmarks people..this puppy will no longer be updated as of July 1st 2011.